Travel Europe (Review): Chapter Roma Hotel, in Italy

Some call Rome a tourist trap…another sellout destination peddling postcards, commercialized history, and disappointment.

Some people know nothing!

True Rome is between the cobbled streets, on balconies hanging laundry, and on rooftops stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s in every plate, storefront, and in every bit of architecture – old and new. It’s in the locals’ exuberance and ease of welcome – people who choose more than cursory politeness when serving.

Rome is brash and warm; it’s sassy, steeped in history, and resoundingly Italian where it matters.

And it’s a gladiator of a Bucket List experience, worthy of enjoying from the luxe comfort of a boutique hotel I’m still amazed I found – let alone stayed at, for a steal!

Welcome to Chapter Romathe coolest value-for-money hotel in Rome!

The Hotel and its Locale

A trendy enclave fit for the traveller with taste, and a willingness to splurge a little for the payoff of gorgeous surroundings, Chapter Roma sees visitors even if they don’t book into the hotel for the night.

It’s frankly outstandingly situated, to start.

Making its home in the in-between of the Jewish Quarter and Regola district of the Italian city, Chapter Roma is basically near centre of Rome Must-Sees (yes, like the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum).

You know that scene in the films, where the lead traipses about a marketplace in Rome? That’s probably Campo de’Fiori and its flower and food stalls. Its just a 5-minute walk from this hotel!

Chapter Roma hotel is also part of the sensational Design Hotels collection, which includes a stable of some of the most award-winning and incomparable odes to quality hospitality and awe-inspiring design. Trust me, I’ve experienced a few myself!

The privately-owned hotel was born from the bones of a nineteenth-century building, and is now four storeys of bold, rich, and cool design choices.

Groundfloor welcomes visitors with combinations of industrial chic walls peeping out between bold contemporary art and amid an enigmatic colour scheme.

Contrastingly, the well-known traditionalism of the Italian capital makes itself known too (besides in the hotel’s exterior) in the lobby, shadowy passageways, and occasional mid-century Italian furniture and herringbone wood floors matched to constructs by local artisans, which all seem like the makings of an exclusive members-only club…perhaps subterranean and resolutely demanding silence and restraint.

The hotel is pretty warm & welcoming, and chill though.

This place is a medley of some contrasts.

In glimpsing these public spaces though, it almost seems visitors should worship at the altar of excellent design, by Tristan du Plessis.

The Rooms and Their Decor

47-rooms is enough to make an impression, for this boutique hotel.

There are five (5) room categories to book into, with size differentials:

  • Solo Pad
  • Baby Double
  • Chapter Double
  • Loft
  • Suite rooms

Though the industrial design choice of exposed brick (and the rooms’ open’ iron-rod storage structure) brings edge to various spaces at this hotel, the rooms are generally calm and elegant in their finish.

Image courtesy of Design Hotels

Chapter Roma brings the sophisticated and smart stylings of cosmopolitan London and New York
…but owner Marco Cilia ensures Italy isn’t lost to international sensibilities.

My room included brass, copper, and even bronze accents – a taste of burnished Italian elegance from my Tom Dixon lighting, to my bathroom taps. It’s said to be a detail in homage to the blacksmiths who had once worked from this street.

The copper, brass, steel etc. made opening the Crittall-style metal doors of my bathroom, preparing my shower, opening the room’s window, or settling in after a day of exploring, feel a bit more special, in truth!

A green velvet headboard against boiserie walls, ties the other elements of the room together beautifully – softening the rugged look of the walls, the shimmer of the light fixtures, and the darkness of all the furniture wood.

The larger suites come with velvet sofas & armchairs, and bespoke Seletti rugs too, in colours like emerald green or bright orange, which brings beauty, sophistication, and breaks what could have been boring and predictable interiors.

The room is comfortable and contained.

One doesn’t feel boxed in thanks to the spaciousness of the bathroom (complete with a bidet and walk-in shower), and the generous window which opens up to the cobbled street and district rooftops.

Smart TVs mean you can catch up on your TV show queue, and the Turkish cotton robes allow guests who can fit into them, to languish in their room, in softness.

Sleep comes easy thanks to the pure fluff that is the wide bed, the luxury quality of the linens, and the accompanying plush pillows made for rest and support.

*NOTE: You can, however, hear knocks against the wooden floors in the upstairs suite.

The Experiences that Set it Apart

In-house, there are several ways to keep busy besides Riposo.

Situated on the ground floor is a gorgeous watering hole where guests and walk-in visitors can indulge in delicious drinks in a cool cocktail (or rather multi-use) bar: Hey Baby Bar. Through the hotel’s large inset arches, you are invited to dine from breakfast to snack time, with decent menu choices that match any other hotel’s selections.

Buffet breakfasts can tide you over till you pick some place to settle into for lunch, and you need only ask one of the hotel’s team to secure hot dishes as soon as you sit down.

A taste of cafe culture, as well as being a bistrot choice for healthy and working travellers, is available in the attached MARKET – a restaurant open throughout the day, with fresh smoothies, plug points, and satiating light meals available, like organic salads.

In line with the blooming culinary scene in this part of the world, the hotel also has its own fine dining restaurant, Campocori, taking Italian flavours to new heights in a moody New York Italian restaurant-style setting. It’s a sensual exploration of local cuisine at the hands of an exciting chef whose ideas aren’t yet weighed down by how humbling global hospitality can be.

The rooftop terrace though, is the gem of Chapter Roma, and what also helps put it on many travellers’ Bucket Lists.

The cheerful Hey Güey Roma taps into the yearning for the exotic, with an offering that brings Mexico and Italy together on a Rome rooftop stretching out into the Jewish Quarter.

With a near unencumbered view, visitors marvel at the Synagogue and Temple at this vantage point, while drinking some of the best-prepared Negronis in town.

I like the tequila!

The leadup to the rooftop bar includes custom murals by street artists, and makes for gorgeous viewing as you head up or down the spiral marble steps.

Best Finds Beyond the Building

I know I should further rave about the in-house food at Chapter Roma (their fried artichokes are popular for a reason), but I found my best pasta serving a walk away, in one of the open-air restaurants that tend to stretch out in every Roma district.

Head to a trattoria called Osteria Del Cappellari for a decently priced dinner recommended even by the locals who frequent the little restaurant after their shifts.

And if you need to fill your daytime, there are landmarks like:

  • The Colosseum to the East of the hotel
  • Vatican City sits west of the hotel
  • Plenty of bars a walk away across the river, at the boho Trastevere
  • Piazza Navona to the north of the hotel
  • The Forum to the East too
  • The Pantheon to the north

One of the best things about being in this particular area, is the access to antique stores, Gelato counters, a multitude of eclectic leather goods stores, and art galleries too. You can shop, eat, and then simply languish on a bench for a bit as the hotels’ location positions you near parks, umbrella Pines and walkways with benches.

*PRO TIP: Stop in to one of the many enotecas (special Italian wine shops) around the area, and secure a bottle of Italian wine to drink or gift.

The Verdict

Chapter Roma is for the ones wanting the best, but are only perhaps loaded with a 4-star budget!

Rome makes a compelling case for nearly every kind of accommodation.

From warm but utilitarian budget-traveller rooms to slick contemporary Airbnb’s, there is plenty of opportunity to live (or vacation) like a local in traditional Roman homes, beds, and even rest amid the plush comforts of luxe hotels.

Rome is a charcuterie board of varied Italian comforts, and Chapter Roma makes a fine dining meal of it all!

Come here whether you’re a tot-toting globe-trotting family, a cosmopolitan solo traveller, an exec, a seasoned traveller, or even just a young or older couple. This hotel is accessible (with an elevator and accessible rooms), and at Chapter Roma you’ll be welcomed and pampered with excellent hospitality.

There is so much right about Chapter Roma‘s experience, but their on-site and virtual teams stand far above many other hotels around the world, in delivering amazing service.

From the minute you secure a booking online, the pre-check-in process, query solving and valuable travel advice dolled out efficiently, eases a visitor before they’ve even arrived.

Upon arrival, the famed Italian charm makes itself known as everyone from the bellhop to the Front Desk warmly welcomes the guests.

Following my medley of travel (and sickness) around Europe, the team admirably checked hygiene protocols, hydrated me, and got me settled in before I took to the streets.

Additionally, I never struggled with figuring out language, keys, Wi-fi (which is excellent and FREE, by the way), navigation, taps, plug setups, or anything else.

They may lack gym facilities, but you can still get your workout in by traversing the streets and seeing Roman history within the sprawling city.

Chapter Roma is built for travellers around the world, without compromising on the Italian aesthetic and hospitality.

The environmentally-conscious traveller can even find comfort in the plastic-saving bathroom dispensers filled with organic La Bruket bath products.

Remote workers too find themselves comfortably meeting and working at the hotel’s bar-cum-co-working space.

It’s a hotel fit to represent the most photographed Italian city of all time, and cement its place as a cool spot that will transcend its current simply “trendy” tag.

By My Recommendation: CHAPTER ROMA

Via di S. Maria De’ Calderari, 47 – 00186 Roma

(+39) 06 89935351

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